We’re living far longer. And we’re yet to process the implications.

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Image by VAlex from Shutterstock

This is a classic population pyramid. It shows the distribution of age groups across a human population.


A powerful emerging trend is set to reshape the rules of business and media. It might even change your life.

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As you know, the most famous woman in the world celebrated her 40th birthday last week. Kim Kardashian chartered a private jet to take 30 friends and family to Tahiti, where she swam with whales, watched a movie on the beach, and ‘pretended things were normal for a while.’

The masses — that’s me and you — were meant to scroll, and scroll we did. Amid a million #soblessed updates, though, there’s no doubt which generated the most attention. Kim’s husband — as you also know — is the rapper Kayne West, and his present to his wife was a…


Life inside augmented modernity. Regulators vs Big Tech. Should we act to reverse economic growth?

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Illustration by Nikki Ritmeijer

Welcome to New World Same Humans, a new weekly newsletter by TrendWatching’s Global Head of Trends and Insights, David Mattin.

This week a viral video got me thinking about how new technologies are set to collide with the highest forms of human experience.

Plus the regulation of Big Tech. And new possible futures for capitalism.

Life inside augmented modernity

Online, we swim in an ocean of media. Most of it is forgettable. But occasionally you see something new and the world seems forever a little altered. One such moment came last week, via a video that had everyone talking.

In this two-minute video we…


Vaporflys, fairness and the liberal elite. Ethics 101. Iowa and the cult of innovation.

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Illustration by Nikki Ritmeijer

Welcome to New World Same Humans, a new weekly newsletter by TrendWatching’s Global Head of Trends and Insights, David Mattin.

This week a pair of shoes got me thinking about the race to the top of our societies, who gets to win, and how we reward them.

Also: thoughts on ethics and business, and Iowa. Let’s go.

Vaporflys, Fairness and the Liberal Elite

The Tokyo Olympics is less than six months away. …


Notes on an epidemic. In search of the Zeroth Law. What Goop Lab tells us about modern life.

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Illustration by Nikki Ritmeijer

Welcome to New World Same Humans, a new weekly newsletter by TrendWatching’s Global Head of Trends and Insights, David Mattin.

This week I thought about virus outbreaks, existential risk, energy exorcisms and modernity.

Let’s do this.

Notes on an Epidemic

At the time of writing there are over 14,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 304 confirmed deaths. It’s thought that 2019-nCoV jumped from animals to humans in a seafood market in Wuhan; human infection has now been reported in at least 16 other countries, including Japan, Australia, Canada and Germany.

For those old enough to remember it, the SARS outbreak of 2002 comes…


Status and shame at Davos. The truth about trust. Facial recognition and human nature.

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Illustration by Nikki Ritmeijer

Welcome to New World Same Humans, a new weekly newsletter by TrendWatching’s Global Head of Trends and Insights, David Mattin.

The great English scientist and visionary James Lovelock is 100 years old. Last summer he published a book, The Novacene. I read it a few weeks ago, while planning the launch of this newsletter.

It is, among other things, a window on to a remarkable life. At one point Lovelock remembers visiting the home of a Dr Hawking in the 1940s, when the pair worked together at London’s Institute for Medical Research. …


In the 21st-century, transparency is remaking the relationship between people and powerful organizations.

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In a connected world, the relationship between powerful organizations and the societies in which they operate is being redrawn. We all understand that. But we’re still catching up to the full implications.

Here is one such implication. A transparent world means a radical change in the nature of brands. That’s a huge shift, because brands — business, political, individual — do much to shape the world we live in.

This week we learned that Microsoft employees have been sharing stories of sexual harassment and discrimination in a long internal email chain. …


Brexit and other populist shocks are a sign that our conception of equality is broken. We need to remake it.

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Nearly three years after the June 2016 referendum, Britain’s mission to wrench itself out of the EU is finally coming to a head.

It’s been three years of political stasis and confusion. Meanwhile, every reputable forecast suggests the UK will be poorer once the mission is complete. The British government’s own forecast says that 15 years after Brexit the economy will have shrunk by between 2.5% and 9.3%. For context, the 2009 financial crisis shrunk the British economy by 6.25%.

Now, Theresa May’s failure to get her deal with the EU past parliament means Britain is weeks away from a…


Should we turn to civil disobedience to avert looming ecological disaster?

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Extinction Rebellion on the streets of London. Credit: Shutterstock.

People in the UK just experienced a weird, time-shifted summer — in the final two weeks of February.

In west London the temperature peaked at 21.2C. That’s the hottest February day ever recorded in the UK, and the first time a temperature above 20C has been seen in winter.

The February summer wasn’t limited to Britain. Amsterdam also recorded its hottest ever February day, with a peak temperature of 18.4C.

The sudden shift in temperatures was so extreme that climate scientists struggled to analyse it. …


Some claim algorithms will soon know us better than we know ourselves. But the truth about being human is not so simple.

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Nejron Photo, Shutterstock

What is it like to be a bat?

The philosopher Thomas Nagel asked that question in a now-legendary paper first published in The Philosophical Review in 1974. He wasn’t really asking his readers to imagine a life spent using echolocation to navigate through dark caves. Instead, he wanted them to think about the nature of mind.

Specifically, Nagel wanted to highlight the private, subjective, what it is like-ness of conscious experience, and how it seemingly cannot be reduced to a description of physical brain states.

Nagel’s point was as follows. We could in principle describe exactly the physical structure of…

David Mattin

Founder at New World Same Humans | World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Consumption

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